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Knox County sheriff criticizes 287(g) denial

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the federal government’s decision to deny the county’s application for the 287(g) immigration program. The agreement would have allowed the sheriff’s department to participate in a program called 287(g), which would train deputies to enforce immigration laws. It would allow deputies to scrutinize the immigration status of people arrested and held in jail. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent a letter to the sheriff’s office within the past week, rejecting the application, and explaining it was denied because of resource concerns. Sheriff Jones issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the government for the decision, and pledging to continue enforcing immigration laws:

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Immigration advocates respond to Sheriff Jones’ 287(g) statement | wbir.com

Several immigrant-advocacy groups have now responded to a pointed statement from Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones Wednesday morning, vowing to enforce federal immigration laws. "We feel disappointed of his poor choice of words," said Kukuly Uriarte, an immigrant living in Knoxville and advocate for immigration reform. After a year of limited statements about 287(g), Sheriff Jones published his opinion on his website Wednesday morning. The note followed a decision from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which did not approve the county’s application for the program. ICE cited "resource concerns," including the sequester, as the reason for denying Knox County’s application. "Once again, the federal government has used sequestration as a smokescreen to shirk its responsibilities for providing safety and security to its citizens by denying Knox County the 287(g) corrections model," the sheriff wrote on his website.

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